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Writing informative and persuasive copy can be difficult. Even if you manage to arouse readers' curiosity, maintaining their interest throughout your piece is a challenge.

Our sales team is consistently looking for creative ways to reach our customers. One sales rep even argues that producing content for sales is like writing a love letter.

With that in mind, here are five tips to writing an effective sales letter.

1. Headlines are essential

Because the title is the first thing that's read, it needs to entice the reader by alluding to the potential benefits of the piece. Interesting and punchy titles that include numbers, percentages, and statistics will grab a client's attention.

"Wow-factor" headlines can be effective, but with every other salesperson using similar hooks, it may be difficult to differentiate yourself from your competition. Clients are becoming more desensitized to mundane titles such as "fantastic offer," "top offer," "great opportunity," and "last chance." Letters bearing such headlines are far more likely to pollute the trash bins of Outlook and Gmail accounts than result in sales.

The most effective titles are directed toward your customer base. Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, think about whom you are trying to communicate with, and tailor your message accordingly.

2. Personalize your message

People buy from people, not faceless corporations. Remember that you are writing to a person. Try to use his or her name, if possible, and include as much information about the client as you can.

Avoid "Dear Sir/Madam." Nothing warrants the instant purging of a sales letter more than that impersonal greeting. Remove "dear" altogether; instead, stick with a simple "Hello" or "Good Afternoon."

Remember to double-check and triple-check that you have the correct spelling of your contact's name.

3. Check your grammar

Ensure that your grammar is accurate, including spelling and punctuation.

To ensure clarity and brevity, have someone else read your sales letter before you send it. Alternatively, you could put aside your initial draft for a little while, then return to it later with a fresh mind.

Because potential clients want to read succinct pieces, keep your letter short, simple, and fun, and try to use familiar words and uncomplicated sentences.

4. Format your letter

An aesthetically pleasing letter will likely appeal to potential clients.

Break up text by using bullet points and subheads. Avoid long blocks of text; to the reader, they will seem interminable. Adequately formatting text will also help readers who skim to understand the key points of your sales letter.

Include a post script (PS) message. Research suggests that many people read the PS after the headline. That would be an ideal place to reiterate your call to action.

5. Check, check, check

I cannot overemphasize checking your letter. Obvious mistakes in your copy will diminish the overall effectiveness of your sales pitch.

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The steps in this article should act as a guide for writing engaging, informative, and concise sales letters. But no one-size-fits-all template exists for producing successful copy. Practice makes perfect, and only through trial and error can one master the art of writing a sales letter.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Train is director of operations at TranslateMedia, an award-winning global translation agency.